Lenten Resources 2020
“How Dare You?” Greta Thunberg.
There are lots of ways to read Greta’s challenge to the political and corporate worlds at
the UN. Perhaps one of the more useful ways at the congregational level, is to use her question to inspire us. What are we “daring” to do on behalf of the climate emergency facing us all.
1. Making Carbon Choices. At our first lunch and learn at St. Matthew’s we learned how to calculate our carbon footprint or expenditures over a year. There are lots of carbon calculators on line that you can use. Just type in “carbon footprint or carbon calculator into a search engine like Google. Lots of calculators will be listed.
2. Building on the idea of making carbon choices, Karl Coplan in his book Live Sustainably Now. A Low-Carbon Vision of the Good Life intersperses useful, practical chapters on climate change with chapters he calls, “Carbon Diary”. The diary covers his activities for the month and records the choices he makes that effect his carbon footprint. Shall I walk, hike, ride my bicycle (electric or otherwise) drive a car, take a bus, a taxi? What am I eating, what kinds of containers do my food choices come in? How good am I at recycling? If I have to fly to a destination, do I propose to compensate for my carbon expenditure by donating locally? Simply put, the idea of keeping a carbon diary is to raise our personal awareness about the carbon consequences of our choices. If we can do this for the Lenten period we will raise our individual awareness of the impact of our choices as we live through this climate emergency.
3. Read an article on the Climate Emergency that focuses on our province or region each week during Lent. The Earth-Spirit-Action committee for St. Matthew’s will be suggesting an article once a week during Lent that will be printed for pick-up at the back of the church or can be read on-line. As you read the article keep the question up front “How does this issue impact your daily living? Who should I be writing to to express my concern about this? Links to articles below.
4. Lenten Calendar : http://www.creationjustice.org/uploads/2/5/4/6/25465131/cjm_2020_lent_calendar.pdf
5..Suggested Book Titles Related to the Climate Crisis
Ellen Berstein. The Promise of the Land: A ‘Passover’ Haggadah. Behrman House, 2020. While focusing on the Jewish Torah and celebrations of Passover, this is an excellent example of how liturgical celebrations and sacred texts can be re-read in the light of the climate crisis and earth awareness in general.
Steven Bouma-Prediger. For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision of Creation-Care. Michigan: Baker Publishing, 2001. Exactly as the title says.
Steven Bouma-Prediger. Earthkeeping and Character. Exploring a Christian
Ecological Virtue Ethic. Michigan: Baker Publishing, 2019. I have not read this so cannot comment but the title is inviting; possible related to the formation of ecological citizenship.
Thomas Berry, Evening Thoughts: ReGlecting on Earth as Sacred Community. Edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 2006. Berry was one of the very Qirst to consider the relationship of religion to the ecological crisis. As a cultural historian he has a deep analysis of the crisis and calls for correspondingly deep responses.
Carolyn King. Habitat of Grace: Biology and Christianity and the Global Environmental Crisis. ATF Science and Theology Series, vol. 3. Edited by Mark Wm. Worthing. Adelaide: Openbook, 2002. She is both a biologist and theologian and calls for taking the biological nature of humans seriously in our understandings of grace, faith, etc. Very accessible.
For those particularly interested in the relationship of the Bible to all things
ecological: Norman Habel has edited a whole series called The Earth Bible. He asked
various scripture scholars to read the bible (the parts in which they had expertise) from the point of view of the earth. Very well done – good scholarship and most are very accessible.Check out the whole list at http://normanhabel.com/?page_id=325
Robin Wall Kimmerer. Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, ScientiGic
Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions, 2013. Kimmerer is both a plant biologist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Beautiful blending of indigenous and modern scientiQic understandings of the natural world.
Peter Wohlleben. The Hidden Life of Trees. What They Feel and How They
Communicate. Translated: Jane Billinghurst. David Suzuki Institute and Greystone Books, 2016. (German version in 2015 by Verlag. ) Based on long history of study of trees and written in a very lovely appealing manner. Challenges our notion of consciousness as the prerogative of humans.
A wonderful anthology of reQlections on nature poetry: John Felstiner. 2009. Can
Poetry Save the Earth? A Field Guide to Nature Poems.New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
6. Some Possible Articles to read: